SEP 17, 2023 : The opening pair of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan scored a faultless fifty-run partnership as India won the Asia Cup for the eighth time after speedster Mohammed Siraj’s ferocious session destroyed Sri Lanka. Siraj, who is the leader of India’s fast bowling unit, led his team to victory in the summit match on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo by destroying the top of the Sri Lankan order. India finally raised the trophy in style after a little more than two hours. The performance of their team silenced the Sri Lankan crowd. After five years, the Men in Blue finally hoisted the Asia Cup trophy.Siraj bowled a fantastic performance, allowing the entire Sri Lankan team to return to the pavilion for 50 runs after 15.2 overs. Siraj had his finest ODI performance to date, taking six wickets in seven overs. Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan started their innings off Matheesha Pathirana’s over with back-to-back boundaries, scoring the first 51 runs required with ease. Gill hit three consecutive boundaries off Pramod Madushan in the third over of the match, raising India’s tally to 32/0. On the opening ball of the seventh over, Kishan took a single and confidently led India to a 10-wicket victory. On the third ball of his first over, Jasprit Bumrah made his mark, which established the tone for the game. Siraj followed it up by sending a maiden over to create the ideal backdrop for a spell that stunned everyone in the stadium. Pathum Nissanka was returned for two points by Siraj on the first ball of his second over. When the second ball clocked 143 kph, Samarawickrama made the decision to take it easy. However, the third pitch struck the right-handed batsman hard in the back, pinning his legs directly in front of the stumps, and sending him back for a two-ball duck. Charith Asalanka, Sri Lanka’s match-winning player against Pakistan, intervened to save Sri Lanka’s innings from collapsing. Siraj enticed him to play the drive shot by baiting and luring him. When Asalanka took the bait, Ishan Kishan at covers received the ball immediately. With a hat-trick in mind, Siraj attempted the inswinging delivery to newcomer Dhananjaya de Silva once more. The ball was despatched for a four with a light push on the empty side of the field. On the subsequent delivery, the pacer returned, discovered a thin edge, and glided easily between Rahul’s gloves. A unusual occurrence in ODI cricket, and even more so in a championship game, Siraj finished an over by taking four wickets. He had not yet finished celebrating his ‘Sui’, either. He utterly destroyed the stumps, beating captain Dausn Shanaka and dismissing him for a duck. For the first time in an ODI, India got six wickets in the opening 10 overs. Hardik Pandya entered the attack to replace Bumrah, who left the attack to join the fire-breathing Siraj. Siraj’s next victim was Kusal Mendis, who appeared to be a little at ease on the pitch. Mendis attempted to drive off a quick inswinging delivery but failed due to an inside edge, and the ball destroyed the stumps. Mendis, who made 17 out of 34 balls, turned around and headed back towards the dugout. With both bat and ball, Dunith Wellalage led Sri Lanka against India in their Super Four match, but he failed this time. Hardik joined the gathering to remove Wellalage from it by aiming a bouncer at his body. The batter attempted to move out of the way, but it was too late; the ball lobbed towards the keeper Rahul after touching his gloves. Pramod Madushan was returned for 1(6) after Pandya hit again, and Matheesha Pathirana was returned for a golden duck to end Sri Lanka’s innings. The choice to bat by Sri Lanka was a mistake. Brief score: India 51/0 (Ishan Kishan 23*, Shubman Gill 27*; Dunith Wellalage 0-7) against. Sri Lanka 50 (Kusal Mendis 17; Mohammed Siraj 6-21, Hardik Pandya 3-3).